How Simone Biles ensures her modern-minimalist living room 'transcends trends and styles'

The gymnast experiments with a monochromatic scheme to create a space that has an eternal 'sophistication and allure'

Simone Biles
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Few color pairings hold the same timeless status as black and white – and for a good reason. This monochromatic pairing has surpassed fleeting trends for centuries, making it a safe but chic choice in many celebrity homes – and Simone Biles is no exception. 

The Olympic gymnast, who resides in a contemporary property in Houston, Texas, experimented with a monochromatic color scheme in her open-plan living room – featuring bright white walls and a large black sofa. Other than this, the furniture in the room is notably sparse, but the result is anything but boring. 

Instead, with its classic color scheme and carefully curated furniture, this living room is a modern-minimalist lovers' dream. And designers say it's a reminder of black and white's unwavering power. 

'Black and white color schemes have a classic appeal that transcends trends and styles. They embody the essence of contrast, a fundamental principle in art and design, making them forever relevant,' says design expert Andrea Hundley. 

'I've worked on several homes over the years where a black and white scheme has seamlessly evolved with changing decor trends while maintaining its sophistication and allure.'

When styling a black-and-white living room (or any monochromatic space), Andrea explains that we should begin with a white backdrop, just as Simone demonstrates.

'A white background makes the space feel open and airy,' she says. 'In a recent project, I used white paint on the walls and ceiling, which served as a blank canvas, allowing the black furniture and decor elements to take center stage.'

After finding the perfect white base, Andrea says we should introduce black in various forms. Simone's black sofa is a natural starting point, but we can also look to smaller furnishings and accessories – including a 'statement-making black mirror' or 'sleek black console table.'

Andrea Hundley
Andrea Hundley

Andrea Hundley is an interior designer and the founder of the internationally known home decor publication Design Morsels.

And while block colors are influential in Simone's home, Andrea says that black and white patterned pieces are similarly impactful in creating a more playful yet sophisticated space.

'A black and white patterned rug or wallpaper can add interest and texture to the area. One client's home had a beautiful black-and-white geometric tile floor that added an unexpected touch of whimsy to the elegant design.'

To add a hint of color and interest without sacrificing the minimalist aesthetic, the designer adds that a statement houseplant will breathe immediate life into the space. And, just like the color scheme, it won't fall out of fashion anytime in the future.  

'Greenery can add a splash of color without detracting from the monochrome look,' she says. For one of my clients, a tall fiddle leaf fig in a black pot against a white wall became a striking focal point in the room.

For a Simone-inspired space, we recommend beginning with these pieces below.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.